APN's daily news review from Israel - Wednesday September 9, 2020
Quote of the day:
“In a country that claims to be one of the glorious democracies, in a country that prides itself on its
freedom of speech, how can people be afraid to speak as if the thought police are following them, or the KGB was
—Miki Levine, Maariv's celebrity gossip columnist, writes about the surprise at the courage of two popular Mizrachi singers to release a protest song.*
You Must Be Kidding:
Some 70 evangelical Americans received Israeli government permission to visit Israel to volunteer harvesting grapes at settlements, despite ban on entry of foreigners, even Jewish ones.*
- Netanyahu: Yaakub Abu Al-Kiyan was not a terrorist, I apologize to his family
- Apologizes and lashes out // Yossi Verter
- (State Prosecutor Shai) Nitzan’s turn // Gidi Weitz
- Shin Bet ruled that the car running over in Um Al-Hiran was not an attack, (Police Commissioner) Alsheikh said it was
- In the corona cabinet they think that Netanyahu is moving towards a general lockdown
- White House: Signing ceremony with the UAE will be held on September 15th
- Official residence of US ambassadors to Israel will be sold to Adelson. It’s not clear what is the future of the yard that was established as a nature preserve
- The ‘Lionesses teams’ (battalion of female combat soldiers - OH) protect nature and shatter barriers
- Intentional chaos // Sami Peretz says Netanyahu increase the crisis in order to justify lockdown
- Unclear why they miss him // Uzi Baram on Menachem Begin
- Gaps of tens of percentages in investment in students in Israel compared to all the other OECD countries (Hebrew)
- 1.3 million Israelis under night curfew
- Closure over my city // Shoshana Chen
- On Tuesday: Signing for peace
- Late acquittal - Netanyahu apologized to family of Yaakub Al-Kiyan
Maariv This Week (Hebrew links only)
- They went under curfew
- Storm over the statistics - Health Ministry avoiding detailing criteria for determine who is seriously ill with corona at hospitals, leading to claims of “inflating the data”
- Netanyahu: “I apologize to the family of Al-Kiyan”
- Now he remebers // Ben Caspit
- Working in Dubai - First business-commercial delegation from Israel landed in Dubai
- Signing ceremony for agreement with UAE: Tuesday at the White House
- Hundreds of thousands under night curfew
- Table for one: Likely - High Holidays with nuclear family only
- 4 million vaccine doses for flu will arrive in Isral
- Quarantine at the top: (Corona Czar) Gamzu, Minister Edelstein and MK Kish - in quarantine
- Choosing terror: Hamas looking for a leader (Hebrew)
- 15 of September, Washington - Signing of agreement with UAE
- The statistics reveal: Some 24,000 students in quarantine
- Second (heat) wave: Israel on the way to boiling point - Heavy heat wave over the weekend
Top News Summary:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu apologized for the killing of an Arab-Israeli man by police and accused the law enforcement system - from the police to the Attorney General - of conspiring to oust him, 40 cities and communities in Israel go under night curfew and Netanyahu will fly to Washington next week to take part in the September 15th signing ceremony of the agreement to normalize relations between Israel and the UAE.
A storm broke out after Channel 12 News revealed that both former police commissioner Ronnie Alsheikh and Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman covered up the fact that someone the police accused of being a terrorist was, in fact, not. Shin Bet officials had concluded that in the Umm al-Hiran incident in 2016, the Bedouin man, who was fatally shot by police, did not deliberately run over a policeman and he was not a terrorist, as the police had claimed. [After he was shot by police that night, his car rolled downward and hit the policeman. - OH]. Netanyahu apologized for the killing and claimed the the police covered it up to ‘hurt’ him. "The entire chain of command is involved: senior investigators, the chief of police, the state attorney, and everything is sanctioned and authorized by the attorney general," Netanyahu said. "This was not an investigation. This is a corrupt political conspiracy to topple a prime minister. But Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh, called Netanyahu out on the attempt to connect between the cover-up and his own criminal cases. “The Abu al-Kiyan family tragedy is no more than a media spin [Netanyahu] uses for his personal benefit. Any real investigation will find him and (then Public Security) Minister Gilad Erdan responsible for covering up Yakub Abu al-Kiyan’s murder.”
Ben Caspit and Prof. Aryeh Eldad interviewed Dr. Amal Abu Saad, the widow of Yaakub Abu Al-Kiyan, about the plan to re-investigate the circumstances of her husband's death. (103FM/Maariv)
Did you receive a police investigation report?
"I personally did not get it, but I guess (the lawyers) did get it. I know a lot of lawyers who have dealt with it, human rights, have all the materials. I'm in contact with such lawyers too, and I know that with all the investigations it has come to something like 2,000 pages. This is the hard work of people who constantly wanted justice and the publication of the truth. "Hopefully the truth will come out.”
What do you actually expect to happen?
"If the country wants justice - then it will prosecute the people and everyone will receive the punishment that he deserves, accordingly. I am talking about anyone who was acted wrongly in the process, in everything that happened. That he be prosecuted. If we are a state of justice and we are talking about a democratic state, then everyone who acted wrongly gets punished accordingly. This is what I want to happen, that they be punished."
Abu Al-Kiyan’s family said it does not expect an apology forthcoming “from three people: (then police commissioner Ronnie) Alshiekh, (State Prosecutor Shai) Nitzan and (then public security minister Gilad) Erdan." Nevertheless, it said, "This is a late, but also important step. A small but also a big step." (Maariv)
In other diplomacy issues:
Netanyahu met with a Chadian delegation and discussed appointing ambassadors and exchanging envoys. Also, the sale of the official residence of US ambassadors to Israel has essentially secured the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem. The enormous beachside property and possibly the most expensive private residential property in the country (worth over $80 million) was believed to be sold to right-wing Trump-supporting Jewish-American tycoon, Sheldon Adelson. Haaretz+ asked what will happen to the nature reserve the residence sits on.
- Night-time curfew takes hold in COVID-stricken communities - Curfew takes hold in 40 locations after government backtracks on full closure in areas with high infection rate due to Haredi pressure. (Ynet)
- Corona Czar and other Top Health Officials Quarantined After Exposure to Patient - Israel breaks daily infections record (Haaretz)
- Top cop: 'police ready to enforce curfews' - Police deputy commissioner says enforcement policy will rely on discourse, education, discretion and cooperation with public; 'key to success is public's obedience to rules, cooperation with authorities.' (Ynet)
- 12 Palestinian prisoners in Ofer Israeli jail test positive for Covid - 19 Twelve Palestinian prisoners in Israeli Ofer prison have tested positive for coronavirus, raising the total number of coronavirus cases among Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails to 29. (WAFA)
- In a Week, Coronavirus Closes 42 Schools, 150 Preschools Across Israel - The Education Ministry reveals the number of coronavirus cases in the school system after providing no official data. (Haaretz+)
- A record number of corona deaths in Palestine since outbreak of the pandemic - Ten people have died from coronavirus in Palestine in the last 24 hours and 717 new cases were recorded Tuesday, said Palestinian Minister of Health Mai Alkaila. Three of the deaths were recorded in East Jerusalem. (WAFA)
- As cases in Syria rise, U.N. staffers infected - Three people medically evacuated, but most other UN staff and families show mild symptoms; officials say fighting, internal migration and political instability, hide scope of outbreak understood. (Ynet)
- *Despite COVID-19 Travel Ban, Israel Lets in 70 Evangelicals to Volunteer in Settlements - Meanwhile, most non-Israeli Jews are still barred from entering Israel. 'Several different people in the government' helped to obtain the visas, group's marketing director tells Haaretz, in what appears to be the first such exception for agriculture sector. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli settlers attack Palestinian construction workers near Nablus - Israeli settlers attacked Tuesday evening Palestinian construction workers at the entrance of the village of Burqa to the north of Nablus. The settlers snuck into the village and attacked construction workers with stones. They also fired randomly near the village entrance before the village residents intervened to fend off their attack, leading to clashes. No injuries were reported. (WAFA)
- Israeli Undercover Agents Abduct Palestinian Youth in Occupied Jerusalem - Police disguised as Palestinians, driving a civilian vehicle, chased after and abducted Yazan Omran Abeid Monday near the Shu’fat refugee camp roadblock, and pointed weapons at bystanders, to deter them from intervening. (IMEMC and VIDEO and PHOTOS)
- Several Palestinians Detained from West Bank, Including a Teen and a Former Prisoner - In Bethlehem, in the central West Bank, Israeli troops detained Nour al-Hasanat, 17, a resident of al-Dheisheh refugee camp, near Hebron. (IMEMC)
- Israeli Municipality Forces Family to Demolish Their Shops in E. Jerusalem - Jerusalem municipality, Tuesday, forced a Palestinian family to demolish their five shops in Jabal al-Mokkaber neighborhood. Shop owner AbedSarry added that the family built the shops four years ago, after several attempts to obtain the license failed, noting that they were fined 60,000 shekels ($17,687 USD), which he said, they are currently paying to the municipality in installments. (IMEMC)
- European Union missions note with concern ongoing Israeli demolition of Palestinian structures - As of 31 August, a total number of 107 residential units and 46 other units (shops, storerooms, etc.) were demolished in 2020 in East Jerusalem alone.
- Israeli Settlers Attempt, Fail to Erect Outpost Near Ramallah - Dozens of Palestinians from the village of Kufr Malik foiled Monday night an attempt by Israeli settlers to steal Palestinian-owned land by assembling an illegal outpost on it. Local residents rushed to the site when settlers began to erect caravans and confronted them and forced them to retreat. Witnesses said Israeli soldiers stepped in to protect the settlers, attacking the Palestinian civilians, who were protecting their land. (IMEMC)
- Settlers steal 45 Palestinian olive trees - A group of Israeli settlers from nearby settlements uprooted and stole 45 Palestinian olive trees, Monday, from Turmus-Ayya village, northeast of Ramallah, the Palestinian Information Center reported. (IMEMC)
- Following Haaretz Report, Israeli Army to Stop Training in Disabled Veteran's Olive Grove - Live ammunition was recently found in the grove, which is near a firing range in the country's north. Army now says that there is no justification for weapons fire. (Haaretz+)
- Israeli Bulldozers Raze Palestinian-owned Lands in West Bank, Gaza - Head of the Kifl Hares village council, Sheikh Omar Samara said that Israeli bulldozers leveled dozens of dunams of land, owned by the heirs of Saeed Shamlawi, and that of Nimer Abdul Karim Shamlawi, near the illegal Israeli Kiryat Netafim settlement, established on Palestinian lands, with the intention to expand it. (IMEMC)
- France protests Israeli deportation of Franco-Palestinian Jerusalemite accused of being planning to kill a rabbi - France had called on Israel not to strip Salah Hamuri, a French-Palestinian citizen released as part of 2011 Schalit prisoner exchange deal, of Jerusalem residency permit and to allow him to be reunited with his family in Jerusalem. (Ynet, World Israel News and European Jewish Press)
- U.S. Ambassador's Home, Built on Israeli Nature Reserve, Is Sold. What Happens Now? - Reserve was given to the embassy when the residence was built in the early 1960s, but what will happen to it now that the house is passing into private hands? (Haaretz+)
- Anti-Netanyahu Activists Say This False Flag Campaign Is an Attempt to Kill Their Protest - Activists say they have uncovered at least three suspicious accounts, and are investigating over a dozen more, which they charge are part of an operation to turn the public against the anti-Netanyahu protests. (Haaretz+)
- Prominent Likud activist arrested for threats against Netanyahu prosecutor - Suspect reportedly sent letter to Liat Ben-Ari, a regular target of the PM’s supporters, telling her, ‘This is your end.’ (Times of Israel)
- Poll: Netanyahu and the Likud are losing support among Russian-speaking Israelis - The survey, conducted on the NEWSru.co.il website, shows that there has been a decline in the score given to the government and its head for managing the corona crisis. Lieberman is the preferred candidate for prime minister, Yisrael Beiteinu is the most popular party. (Maariv)
- New poll reveals: Most of the public believes we are on the road to elections - The data from the Gutman Center for the Monthly Israeli Voice Index for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy at the Israel Democracy Institute show a number of interesting findings, including the fact that one-tenth of Israelis participated in demonstrations against the government. (Maariv)
- Yair Netanyahu: The (Jewish terrorist) killer of the Dawabsheh family is innocent - The Prime Minister's son referred to the rejected appeal of Amiram Ben-Uliel, the man found guilty of murdering a Palestinian family in an arson attack on their home in Duma. Yair also said that Roman Zadorov, the man found guilty of murdering the school girl Tair Rada, was innocent. (Maariv)
- Former Top Officials, Harvard Program Grads Sue Netanyahu's Son for Libel - Tweets by the prime minister's son Yair attacked sponsorship by Wexner Foundation, where convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein served as trustee. The plaintiffs, 75 graduates of the Wexner Foundation, including former senior officials such as Amos Yadlin and Moshe Lador, claim that Yair Netanyahu published posts "designed to advance his interests." (Haaretz+ and Ynet Hebrew)
- Israeli classrooms have 5 more kids than OECD average; teachers earn 5% less - Still, annual report finds Israel ahead of the curve on women’s education and on share of the population getting higher education. (Maariv and Times of Israel)
- IDF reservist brings down dozens of criminals as undercover agent - The undercover IDF officer engaged in drug and weapons deals, purchasing an explosive device, guns, a grenade and large quantities of cocaine and ecstasy pills from various dealers. (Israel Hayom)
- Israeli-UAE deal inspires new cooperation on pajamas - Israeli model poses during a desert shoot in UAE alongside a UAE-based model known as Anastasia. (Israel Hayom and PHOTO)
- Israel sees trade with UAE at $4 billion a year - Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen tells Reshet Bet radio the figure could be achieved within 3 to 5 years, while Cohen's spokesperson adds it would also include defense trade. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Presidency: Insulting national symbols of Arab states is unacceptable - President Mahmoud Abbas’ spokesman said Abbas will not accept insulting national symbols of any Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates, and he stressed the importance of maintaining the good brotherly relations with all Arab countries on the basis of mutual respect, and that the Arab countries must adhere to the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002. (WAFA)
- Palestinians set to soften stance on UAE-Israel normalization - PA's draft resolution for Arab League meeting does not include call to condemn or act against Emirates, as Palestinian president Abbas orders ban on any offensive statements or actions towards Arab leaders, including Emirati rulers. (Ynet)
- Palestinian Prime Minister: Any retreat from the Arab Peace Initiative is a weakening of Arab-Palestinian position - In a phone call with Oman’s Deputy Prime Minister about implications of UAE-Israel agreement, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said Arab Peace Initiative is reference set by Arabs to solve the Arab-Israeli conflict and any retreat from this initiative is a weakening of the Arab-Palestinian position. (WAFA)
- Gulf Cooperation Council demands apology from Palestinian factions - GCC Director-General Nayef Al-Hajraf condemns Palestinian factions for their "irresponsible language that included incitement and threats," demands formal apology on Palestinian television stations for Palestinian factions’ campaign against UAE for normalization agreement with Israel. (Israel Hayom)
- US Marine Corps chooses night sight from Elbit Systems subsidiary - The selection is part of Phase II of the Integrated Clip-on Advanced Targeting Sight (ICATS) program and will require the company to design, build and test two sophisticated ICATS prototypes for the USMC over the next year. Kollsman, Inc. is a subsidiary of Elbit Systems of America. (Israel Hayom)
- US sanctions 2 Lebanese politicians allied with Hezbollah - "Corruption has run rampant in Lebanon, and Hezbollah has exploited the political system to spread its malign influence," says US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (Agencies, Israel Hayom and Ynet)
- In crisis-hit Lebanon, Paris and Washington at odds over Hezbollah - While U.S. sees terror group as obstacle for much needed governmental reforms, France says willing to cooperate with Hezbollah political wing. (Agencies, Ynet)
- Iran announces new centrifuge production hall in mountains near Natanz - New site is meant to replace a production hall at the facility damaged by fire in July in alleged act of sabotage, which some have attributed to Israel. (Agencies, Israel Hayom)
- British-Iranian woman held in Iran faces new charges - Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe appeared Tuesday morning before a branch of the country's Revolutionary Court in Tehran, where she was first sentenced to prison on murky espionage charges in 2017. (Israel Hayom)
Hamas at a crosspath
The Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, is favored by Egypt. Khaled Mashaal wants a comeback and is aided by Qatar and Turkey. While the current head of the political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, is supported by Turkey, but also attentive to Tehran. There is a chance that Haniyeh's deputy, Saleh Al-Aruri, will also jump into the arena. In November, a new Hamas leader will be elected: Who is against whom in the struggle?
In November, the eyes of the whole world will be on the US presidential election, but just below our noses will come another end of a race full of passions and interests, which will have a major impact on Israel: the elections for the chairmanship of the Hamas political bureau, which will be held alongside the internal elections for Hamas institutions. In the background of the election, there is a struggle between Iran and Turkey and Qatar, and Egypt also plays a role in the drama. But to understand the balance of power, one has to go nine years back. The civil war in Syria that broke out in March 2011 presented the Hamas leadership, led by Khaled Mashaal, who was based in Damascus, with a dilemma: Mashaal wanted to show neutrality, Assad demanded support. The problem was solved when Mashaal was forced [sic - Hamas chose] to leave Syria and move its activities to Doha, the capital of Qatar. "In this move, Mash'al broke away from Syria and Iran - and joined the axis of Turkey and Qatar," explains Yoni Ben Menachem, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public and State Affairs. Mashaal's second crisis came in Operation Protective Edge in 2014, when he clashed with the military wing, and especially with Yahya Sinwar and Muhammad Deif of the military wing. "He had a planting agent who was the battalion commander of the military wing in the Zeitoun area," says Ben Menachem. "He would call him and report to him what was happening in the military wing, and (others in) Hamas executed him."
Innocent Victims Pay With Their Lives for Growing Gun Violence in Israel's Arab Communities
In the past two years, at least seven people died, including young children and old women, and many more were wounded because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Josh Breiner, Haaretz+)
A flame that cannot be extinguished
Even when she was a little girl, Haya Aridi dreamt of becoming a firefighter. After graduating from high school, she applied for a firefighters course, was accepted - and will soon become the only female firefighter from the Arab sector. "It's an interesting job," she explains, "and the main thing is that it saves lives." (Yedioth Hebrew)
Now the Israeli Village Excavating Itself Found a Byzantine Church
After discovering a Crusader winery beneath their homes, residents of the Galilean town of Mi’ilya have now found mosaics and ruins of a Byzantine church, maybe even a monastery – whose stones the Crusaders raided centuries later to build a castle. (Ruth Schuster, Haaretz+)
Insincerest Condolences: Netanyahu Harnesses Apology to Pummel Law Enforcement (Yossi Verter, Haaretz+) The prime minister exploits his apology for the 2017 police killing of Bedouin teacher Yakub Abu al-Kiyan to incite against the police and prosecution ahead of his corruption trial.
Justice is better late than never (Jalal Bana, Israel Hayom) Expressing remorse and asking forgiveness from Yakub Abu al-Kiyan's widow and orphaned children would be a defining moment of justice, reparation and conciliation, which many Arab Israelis are waiting for and need.
Treat for Israeli Soldiers: Raiding a Palestinian Home at 3 A.M. (Amira Hass, Haaretz+) “Arrests are an exciting activity for soldiers. At least in the beginning. It’s the only sort of operation they’re involved in that’s like combat. All the rest are policing missions. This is more of a military mission.” Thus two young Israelis told me last year, not long after completing their compulsory service in the Israel Defense Forces, adding, “We had to go on long marches, do target practice, we worked our butts off and so on – and in the end all we did is open the gates for some [Palestinian] workers in the morning? Arrests are the only part of the operational routine where combat soldiers get to fulfill their potential and their duty.” Were the soldiers who raided the Tamimi family home in Nabi Saleh at 3 A.M. on August 23 “fulfilling their duty” when Halima, a 74-year-old grandmother was choking on pepper spray and her young grandson Samer was crying? Did they feel like they were in a combat operation when they arrested 21-year-old Hamada?…
Netanyahu’s Cowardly Coronavirus Logic Will Cost Lives (Sami Peretz, Haaretz+) The only logic that can be found in the insanity and chaos of running the corona crisis is Benjamin Netanyahu’s preference to worsen the crisis so that we’ll have our backs to the wall – and then it will be easier to make decisions. This is a familiar tactic for crisis management when a dead end has been reached, but it’s more suitable for managerial and business crises, not health crises where people’s lives are at risk.
Viral apathy in Israel (Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom) Gone is the refrain: "We're all in this together." In its place is: "Why are only some sectors allowed the privilege of congregating in close quarters?"
*Why are we still surprised when a singer puts out a protest song? (Mickey Levine, Maariv and YouTube) The decision of Dudu Aharon and Moshe Peretz to release a political song calling for unity and reconciliation is not self-evident…Because, as we all know, it is not easy to express an opinion in a divided country like ours, because then the social media networks start to rage and boil and pour all their anger on you if, G-d forbid, you pass criticism on one body or another. It does not end in rage and resentment, but in insults, scheming, slander and even threats. I will not forget the actress Anat Waxman, who dared several years ago to criticize right-wing voters, and went through such a series of harassment on the internet that she had to beg desperately to be left alone, and in an interview she gave to TV she apologized and asked everyone to simply delete everything she said. In fact, at that moment she erased herself. So I saw how sad the situation was. In a country that claims to be one of the glorious democracies, in a country that prides itself on its freedom of speech, how can people be afraid to speak as if the thought police are following them, or the KGB was ambushing them? Even more so when it comes to singers. Mostly Mediterranean singers like Aharon and Peretz, who have never opened their mouths on political matters, because who wants to deliberately damage his own career and the reputation he has built over the years, which are the source of his livelihood? Why the hell would they have to put a healthy head into a sick bed and say out loud that the situation is so bad and that the captain of this rickety ship where we are all crammed into a hustle and bustle of brotherly hatred does not lead it to a safe harbor? After all, they will immediately be included in the list of the cursed and the "traitors" and "stinking leftists" and in the social media networks people will demand to boycott their songs and not attend their performances anymore. Why do they need this headache? This is the reason why the protest song of Moshe Peretz and David Aharon surprised us all and, of course, on the internet, people who are apparently identified with the Israeli left were quick to praise and compliment the courage shown by the two. But what's the problem? The very fact that we were all surprised by the initiative to come out with a political song appropriate to the spirit of the time, proves that we are not accustomed to seeing protesters in the Israeli landscape as in other Western countries. Of course, there are people like that in Israel, and not only in the field of music. But their number is small. Most of them prefer to fill their mouths with water. So while we marvel at the courage of the pair of singers, we would like to get to a point where we will not fall off the chair whenever an artist dares to voice his protest. We would like to get to a point where it would be a natural and self-evident phenomenon, and not one that we would have to say, 'Wow, what courage he had.' Nevertheless, I still think that the song of the artist duo in question did not convey a clear and poignant enough message. The truth is that I did not fully understand the song called, "I did not understand,” It is clear to me that through the song they convey a message of peace and reconciliation. On the other hand, they do not spare criticism when they say: "Start leading, there are people here and not robots." They probably mean the prime minister, but the message is conveyed implicitly and not overtly. The repetition of the same sentence in the background "I did not understand" also conflicts with the attempt to create unity in the people, because what is to be understood in such a simple aspiration as the longing for unity? That is, on the one hand, an aspiration for reconciliation and unity of lines, and on the other hand: "I did not understand,” which implies how confused and embarrassing the situation is and does not exactly allow such reconciliation. For this reason, the message sounds stuttering and hesitant and careful not to express a firm opinion. Apparently there is still a fear of cyberbullying. At the same time, the song of the two is a first bud, and we may witness more such protest songs by other artists, who have so far refrained from touching on sensitive issues. [LYRICS AND SONG AT END OF NEWS NOSH.]
The Agony, Ecstasy and Inevitable Tragedy of Benjamin Netanyahu (Chemi Shalev, Haaretz+) Resurgence of the coronavirus mars his historic UAE deal, as befits a potentially great leader undone by his own small-mindedness.
The Haredim have been singled out, again (Chanani Bleich, Israel Hayom) The threat of celebrating the High Holidays under lockdown has been more effective than any closure, and on Tuesday night, the streets of Bnei Brak were silent and sad.
Israel's ship of state is sinking (Sarit Rosenblum, Yedioth/Ynet) With no united leadership, no clear outline to combat the pandemic and leaders believing that more than 3,000 new daily cases is a reality we can live with, we might soon find ourselves at the bottom of the abyss.
In shadow of UAE-Israel deal, Abbas, Haniyeh fight for their seats (Oded Granot, Israel Hayom) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is afraid that former Fatah strongman Mohammed Dahlan will return from exile with UAE backing, while Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh is looking over his shoulder at his predecessor, Khaled Mashaal.
Hamas at a crossroad (Dean Shmuel Elmas and Daniel Siriyoti, Israel Hayom Hebrew) Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, is favored by Egypt. Khaled Mash'al wants a comeback and is assisted by Qatar and Turkey. The current head of the political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, is supported by Turkey, but also attentive to Tehran. In November, a new Hamas political bureau leader will be elected: Who is against whom in struggle in this end race full of passions and interests, which will have a major impact on Israel: the election for the chairmanship of the Hamas political bureau. In the elections, which will be held alongside the internal elections for Hamas institutions, the current bureau chief, Ismail Haniyeh, his predecessor Khaled Mashaal, and Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, will run. There is a chance that Haniyeh's deputy, Saleh Al-Aruri, will also jump into the arena. In the background of the election, there is a struggle between Iran and Turkey and Qatar, and Egypt also plays a role in the drama. But to understand the balance of power, one has to go nine years back. The civil war in Syria that broke out in March 2011 presented the Hamas leadership led by Khaled Mashaal, who was based in Damascus, with a dilemma: Mashaal wanted to show neutrality, Assad demanded support. The problem was solved when Mashaal was forced [sic - chose - OH] to leave Syria and move his activities to Doha, the capital of Qatar. "In this move, Mash'al broke away from Syria and Iran - and joined the axis of Turkey and Qatar," explains Yoni Ben Menachem, a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public and State Affairs. Mashaal's second crisis came in Operation Protective Edge (third Gaza war) in 2014, when he clashed with the military wing, and especially with Yahya Sinwar and Muhammad Deif. "He had planted an agent, who was the battalion commander of the military wing in the Zeitoun area," says Ben Menachem. "He would call him and report to him what was happening in the military wing. (Then other people in) Hamas executed him." Even before the crisis with Assad, Mash'al approached Turkey. In 2006, Ahmet Davutoglu, then Recep Tayip Erdogan's adviser on foreign affairs, opened the gate to Mashal when he visited the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Six years later came the "publication" of relations with Erdogan: Mashaal spoke at an event marking the tenth anniversary of the AKP. This and other events deepened the relationship between Hamas and Turkey...Then came the assassination of Qassem Suleimani, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, on January 3 this year, and Haniyeh did not take it well. He left the Gaza Strip even before the assassination to start his election campaign, pledging to Egypt that he would not visit Iran. However, Haniyeh chose to visit to Tehran for Suleimani's funeral procession, and even said there during a speech "Suleimani is a martyr of Jerusalem." From then until today in Cairo they are angry with him and refuse to allow him to return to his home in the Strip. Two weeks ago the Egyptians did not even allow his wife and two daughters and their husbands to move to Qatar to reunite with Haniyeh the elder. The one who was educated during this period to appear well in the eyes of Egyptian President 'Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi is Sinwar, who is not endowed with Mash'al's strategic abilities and Haniyeh's impressive rhetoric, but knows how to take advantage of existing situations. "He is taking care to develop relations with the Egyptian officials," Ben Menachem adds, "he decided to disengage from ISIS in Sinai - and accepted the opening of the Rafah crossing. He is also the father of 'return marches' ideas and incendiary balloons." While Sinwar takes care of the Gaza Strip and also receives the support of the military arm, Haniyeh and Mash'al are in a "race" to get votes from the Palestinian diaspora in the Persian Gulf and Lebanon. Haniyeh, unlike Mash'al, is much more extroverted in this activity. He was scheduled for August 22 with Turkish President Erdogan at his palace in Istanbul - received millions of dollars in cash from him, and starting last week he is touring Lebanon and handing out the money. "All the money that Erdogan sends for donations is intended to conquer the hearts of the oppressed peoples who will see him as a 'big brother,'" explains Dr. Cohen Inrojek. During his visit to Lebanon, Haniyeh not only delivered speeches in the Palestinian refugee camps, but also promoted himself on the Shiite axis of terrorism - with the help of a meeting with Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in his office in Beirut. The meeting came against the background of the calm that Sinwar achieved in Gaza, and proved once again who the boss in the Strip is: He reached an agreement with Israel in Qatari coordination without updating Haniyeh...
The differences between Israel and the United Arab Emirates may benefit both countries (Gil Befman, ) While the list of similarities between the countries is relatively short, the economic and social differences are noticeable. It is precisely in the differences that one can find areas of activity that can benefit both countries. The UAE is an export-oriented country in very specific and narrow areas and has a high dependence on world trade in general and trade in the energy and tourism market in particular. In this sense, Israel offers a much wider range of types of knowledge and exports of goods and services. Also, while in the UAE there is a reliance on foreign workers even in the “highest” occupations, in Israel there is a reliance on local human capital as an engine of innovation and growth. The UAE leadership seeks to reduce its dependence on crude oil as a source of energy and as a source of income and activity for the economy and to work for greater diversity, and this is an important basis for a strong potential connection between the two countries.
Israel should treat the EU like it treats us (Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom) Functionaries in Brussels are trying to force their anti-Israel position on Kosovo and Serbia, even though those countries are not even member nations.
Lockdown for Israel's Poor and Business as Usual for the Rest (Hagai Amit, Haaretz+) For the first time since its inception, Israel’s socioeconomic disparities are being translated into government directives that restrict the activities of ordinary citizens.
Netanyahu Seeks Full Lockdown, After He's Back From UAE Deal Ceremony in D.C. (Amos Harel, Haaretz+) The coronavirus cabinet is also examining imposing restrictions during the Rosh Hashanah weekend, a transition to a longer lockdown, or shutting down schools for the three-week period of the fall holidays.
Haredi political games are risking Israel's public health (Ram Fruman, Yedioth/Ynet) Unlike Arab leaders who understand the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic, their ultra-Orthodox counterparts have refused to cooperate with any plan, instead placing their own values above the lives of the rest of the population.
Failing Elsewhere Abroad, Israeli Bankers Aim to Do Better in the UAE (Michael Rochvarger, Haaretz+) Their record in overseas has been spotty at best, but delegations from Hapoalim and Leumi are now eyeing opportunities in the Gulf.
Lyrics of "I Didn't Understand" By Moshe Peretz and David Aharon
Tell me how to make peace (I didn’t understand)
Whose country is it today (I didn’t understand)
Who should be loved here (I did not understand)
Enjoying life, then corona shows up
I'm a fighter for justice, not Stallone
Painted in blue and white, I say enough
Samir Shukri, play for me and goodbye
But now that it hurts
They won’t break our hearts
Our country is here, we will learn to live together
It is time to pray that God will help us
Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
I didn’t understand, I didn’t understand, I didn’t understand
Tell me which side you are on (I didn’t understand)
Maybe just say thank you (I didn’t understand)
Who gives an order now?
We need miracles
We won’t be silent now forever
Speak from the heart, start leading
There are people here and not robots
But now that it hurts
They won’t break our hearts
Our country is here, we will learn to live together
It is time to pray that God will help us
Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
I didn’t understand, I didn’t understand, I didn’t understand
But now that it hurts
They will not break our hearts
Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, one Lord
(Mako website and YouTube)
Prepared for APN by Orly Halpern, independent freelance journalist based in Jerusalem.